Spanked by a Master: Spurs 118 Warriors 98

There are no two ways around it: Last night, Greg Popovich gave Keith Smart as thorough a spanking as I have ever witnessed one coach give another in an NBA game. Well, there was that multiple spanking that Nellie gave Mark Cuban and his Squeaky General. But you get the idea.

Pop scouted the Warriors perfectly. Knew all their plays. Pop game-planned the Warriors perfectly. And then Pop dictated the matchups to Smart perfectly. Pop must have known from the start that Smart would fall into every trap, because Smart is nothing if not predictable.

After watching this disaster, I’m a little perplexed as to how to run down the same litany of Keith Smart blunders, while keeping it fresh. How about I try putting it all in question form, for the home-gamers out there?


  • Which team’s management has remade their roster into a fast-breaking, Nellie-ball juggernaut that is taking the league by storm?
  • Who would you rather have on your bench, a healthy Lou Amundsen, who can’t throw a rock in the ocean, or three-point shooting Matt Bonner? Who would Greg Popovich, famous for his defense, rather have?
  • Who would you rather have on your bench, Jeremy Lin or three-point shooting Gary Neal? Who would Greg Popovich, famous for his defense, rather have? Why?
  • Which coach understands his roster, and has shaped his team into a point-differential creating juggernaut? Which coach is determined to pound his round team into a square hole?
  • Which of the two teams that took the floor last night would be the fastest team end-to-end in the NBA if their coach would let them run?
  • Which of the two teams played at a faster pace last night? Which team pushed the ball up the floor on literally every possession, looking for early offense? Which team was shooting threes early in the shot clock, even on the fastbreak? Which team was fastbreaking after made baskets? If you answered “the fastest team end-to-end in the NBA,” you must retake this part of the quiz.
  • Which of the two teams takes the most threes per game this season? Or in the words of Bob Fitzgerald, which team has most “fallen in love with the outside shot?”  Be very careful when answering this.
  • If you were down 9 in a game against a team playing 6-7″ Dejuan Blair at center, and 6-6″ Ime Udoka at PF, would you counter with Dan Gadzuric?
  • Of the two coaches on the floor last night, which coach learned how to coach at the NBA level as an assistant to Don Nelson? Hint: If you answered Keith Smart you got this question wrong. The operative word is “learned.”
  • Why was Monta Ellis so frustrated by the Spurs triple-teaming last night, while last year, under Don Nelson, he averaged 38 points a game against the Spurs triple-teaming? Did it have anything to do with playing to his strengths, and RUNNING? Initiating his offense before the Spurs could set their defense?
  • When playing against a superior half-court defense, at what point would you consider looking for early offense? Mid-third quarter?
  • Why did Monta Ellis only play 33 minutes last night, and only 9 in the second half? Even given the fact that he made several bone-head blunders, is this how you treat your star? Your team?
  • Did Keith Smart subconsciously need a scapegoat for last night’s loss?

Oops. Now, like Bob Fitzgerald, I’m starting to repeat myself. Time to hand it off to my color guys. But first, one last question:

In 40 years, did Don Nelson ever lose by 20 — against any team — with a complete roster on his home floor ?

Take it away, color guys.

5 Responses to Spanked by a Master: Spurs 118 Warriors 98

  1. Postgame, Smart said he wanted to push the tempo more — what could they have done, exactly? (Just curious.)

    But it’s hard to complain about the first half much, other than those 7 free throws they gave Ginobli.

  2. Morrow-Watson fan club

    Was at the game, agree with your analysis. No running, no skills.
    We are short of Magette,Morrow, and Watson. Okay, so Mags gets too much money, but unforgivable not to have at least Morrow or Watson.
    And it shows, although they must have thought Bell would give them more.

    Vlad cannot,will not (to paraphrase a famous local football coach) hit a wide open 3. Cannot, should not play. Gadz is a sub for Biedrins not someone alongside. And Dont give me, all the players are hurt. Chris Hunter amon others is available t0 any Warrior Lacob defender out there.

    Lakers got both Ebanks and Character for later than the 2nd pick we sold to Portland! You already mentioned Neal.

    Again, we need skill players. At the game, we all talked about how Nellie would be mastering the matchups and not playing to catchup!

  3. Morrow-Watson fan club, you got it right. Lacob is cheaper than Cohan. We are in for a rough time. Luckily we have feltbot as the faithfuls’ last line of defense, feltbot won’t let lacob destroy the warriors.

  4. Hey, Feltbot. My biggest weakness is pointing out when I am correct. Matter of fact I sometimes nearly dislocate my shoulder patting my self on the back. I’m two-for-two on advising you on Blazer fantasy stuff: Brandon Roy’s knees and now Batum’s lost his spot to Wesley Matthews. Feel free to ask my advice any time on any subject. (Ouch, my shoulder!)

  5. You did well with Mathews, good call. Fortunately I scooped him as well as soon as Roy went down — letting Reggie Williams go :(

    So now I have Roy, Batum and Mathews all on the same team… Not a great situation, especially since I’m starting Roy this week and leaving Mathews and Batum on the bench. I think from now on I’ll have to start Mathews and bench Roy! Its tough to trade any of these guys while their status is up in the air. Just have to ride the hot hand.

    Fortunately its the only trouble spot on my roster… I’m in first place in the league so far. (I’m good at patting my own back too :>)